2013 was a year of exponential growth for Horse Listening. We increased our stats from page views to readership ten times over. More importantly, we enjoyed seeing many more people contributing their thoughts and ideas about the topics being discussed through comments on the blog, on Facebook as well as Twitter.
Readers range from experts in the equine industry to experts in many other fields that have found an interest in learning more about horses. Every riding discipline is represented by people from over 130 countries around the world. Some readers show, some own horses, some ride but don't own and others would like to own. Regardless, we are all lovers of equines and want to do our best for them.
2013 was the first year that HL was eligible for the Equestrian Social Media Awards and we were ecstatic to be awarded "Finalist" (top 10) in the blog category. We received two "Versatile Blogger" awards from readers, and were featured on the "Freshly Pressed" page of WordPress.com for one of our inspirational articles.
For those of you who like numbers: we had a total of 85 718 page views at the conclusion of 2012. To date, we have just surpassed the 800 000 mark. Our average hits per day have increased from 212 in 2012 to 2 025 at the end of November 2013.
With over 60 000 page views on average per month, and new readers subscribing daily to the blog, Horse Listening is trotting into the new year with much to offer and several new projects to be announced! Keep an eye out for our first Horse Listening book, to be available early in 2014!
Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday and New Year. We are thrilled to be able to reach you to share ideas, thoughts and comments about horses, riding and life in general.
Here are the 2013 Top Ten Articles (ranked by page views):
10. What Being On The Forehand Means to the Horse: The idea here isn't to cause guilt and doom and gloom; instead, we should learn all we can and take steps to avoid known problems.
9. How to Halt Without Pulling on the Reins: Does your horse get offended when you pull on the reins to stop? Does he pin his ears, shake his head, and keep going? Maybe he’s trying to tell you something: stop pulling on the reins!
8. The Night Before Christmas: Although not written by myself, apparently there are many people who enjoy the beauty of the words as much as I do. Here is the this barn version of the poem written by Doris Elradi.
7. 6 Ways to Unleash the Power of Your Riding Seat: As you become more subtle in the aiding process, you will begin to discover just how powerful the seat can be in guiding the horse without disturbing and interfering in his movement.
6. Here's How (and Why) You Should Ride With Bent Elbows: Have you ever watched riders going around the ring with straight, stiff arms?
What have you noticed?
5.Top 10 Ways to Reward Your Horse: How to reward your horse while you are riding. A happy horse is a willing partner, and many horses will give everything they have if they feel your acknowledgement and generosity of spirit.
4. 20 Ways Horse Riding Becomes Life Itself: You could say that horses are our teachers. Not only do we grow in terms of physical ability, but perhaps even more so, we grow in character.
3. Why You Don't Want to Pull on the Inside Rein - and What To Do Instead: We think that by pulling on the horse from the inside, the horse must obviously turn his nose and then follow it. Right?
2. The #1 Problem of the Year: The Outside Rein! The outside rein is the most underused and poorly understood of all the aids, and here’s why.
1. Ten Habits of Competent Riders: This is our most popular post by far. What do great riders have in common that makes them appealing to watch, steadily develop their riding skills and become role models for others to aspire to emulate?